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Greys Court Oxfordshire Phase II: Internal works, the floor structures and associated historic fabric

Underdown, Simon Greys Court Oxfordshire Phase II: Internal works, the floor structures and associated historic fabric. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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Oxford Archaeology (OA) has carried out a programme of archaeological analysis
and recording of the floor structures at Greys Court, Rotherfield Greys, Oxfordshire
for the National Trust. The main recording was carried out during 2008, with some
additional work during 2009 and it was undertaken alongside a major project to lift
all the floorboards through the house and remove asbestos from the voids.
The work has added to the understanding of the house gained from previous
investigations including a major study undertaken by English Heritage in 2005 as
well as a project to record the roof structures, undertaken by Oxford Archaeology in
2006-7. The project has also included dendrochronological analysis of a number of
floor joists throughout the house, again adding to previous phases of
dendrochronology, and this has provided crucial evidence in clarifying the phasing
and historical development of the house
In the medieval timber framed building the conservation works revealed the character
of the medieval flooring, including the east ends of the jetty joists together with the
moulded jetty fascia board. This adds to the information previously gathered about
the medieval roof.
In the 16th-century East Range a consistent type of floor structure has been found
with deep narrow joists with distinctive double tenon joints of a type that was being
developed in the 16th century. The works also revealed that the south porch infilling
the gap between the 15th and 16th century buildings was probably constructed in the
early 17th century with the first floor at the level of the medieval building. A new first
floor was inserted in 1759-60 at the level of the 16th century wing to which it was
then connected by a doorway probably made by breaking through a former fireplace
originally added in the early 17th century.
A major phase of alterations and additions to the house in the later 18th century
involved floor structures throughout the building. The first floor in the north-west
range was entirely renewed and enlarged and is of double construction with separate
floor joists and ceiling joists joined to ‘tall’ joists which are almost certainly reused
from the 16th century floor.
In the East Range the addition of the bow window was known to have necessitated the
raising of the first floor, but removal of the floor boards revealed a consistent
construction formed by re-use and replication of the 16th-century floor in the bay
A number of interesting features have been temporarily revealed and recorded within
floor voids, created by the raising of the first floor in several areas. The features of
note have included several fragments (and larger surviving areas) of historic wall
paper with decorative patterns, as well as a plaster dentil cornice and a section of
earlier floor. Overall, the study has shown the value of a close archaeological analysis of the
structure as revealed by opening up, the importance of a careful consideration of the
structural carpentry, and the need to calibrate findings by dendrochronology.

Item Type: Client Report
Subjects: Geographical Areas > English Counties > Oxfordshire
Period > UK Periods > Medieval 1066 - 1540 AD
Depositing User: Scott
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2022 09:16
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2022 09:16
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/6454

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